Embattled Florida superintendent pleads not guilty to perjury charge

Embattled Florida superintendent pleads not guilty to perjury charge
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Embattled Florida superintendent Robert Runcie has pleaded not guilty to a perjury charge that stemmed from a statewide grand jury investigation.

Runcie, who runs Broward County Public Schools, entered his plea on Wednesday in a Florida state court, according to records on the court’s website.

He is scheduled to be arraigned on May 12 via a virtual hearing.

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The Hill has reached out to Runcie’s attorneys for comment.

The plea comes one week after Runcie and the district’s general counsel, Barbara Myrick, were arrested in connection with the investigation.

Runcie was charged with perjury in an official proceeding for making false statements when he testified before the grand jury several weeks prior. He was released on his own recognizance.

Myrick was also arrested and charged with unlawful disclosure of statewide grand jury proceedings.

The grand jury investigation focused on determining if school officials failed to follow safety laws causing unnecessary risks to students; if public entities accepted state funds that were meant for those measures while “knowingly failing to act;” if officials mismanaged bonds that were solicited for safety initiatives and if officials underreported incidents of criminal activity to the Department of Education.

The Florida Attorney General’s Office is prosecuting the case.

The investigation comes after Runcie faced scrutiny following the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that killed 17 students.

Runcie and Myrick both offered to resign on Tuesday amid criticisms levied at him following the shooting.

However, Runcie said in a video statement that he would be “vindicated” of the charges.

The school board will meet on Thursday to authorize its legal counsel and to begin negotiating the officials' termination agreements, according to The Miami Herald.